yes, agreed with Mr Ortega, install more lights if you insist not to use flash.
u keep hearing that direct flash will hurt a baby's eyes.. most parents seem to be perfectly fine with using the flash on their P&S cameras to take photos of their babies. i think that it should do no harm unless you're trying to take a macro shot of the baby's eyelashes at f/16 with the flash 10cm from the eye!
if u can, borrow both the 50mm and the SB900. use the flash for all the 'standard' event-style shots like group photos to get everyone's faces well-lit and sharp. swop for the 50mm for the candle-blowing, close-up of your kid, candid portraits, etc.
Just some updates on my observation on this matter.
A friend of mine loan me her SB900 a day before the birthday party. This flash is no joke for me (a bit sua ku because never handle an external flash before ). Having only a day to get use to it, I put everything to auto (iTTL & sometimes with balanced fill-flash) & the diffuser dome on. The result is marvelous! With the flash pointing 45 or 60 degree, the light produced is far from harsh. I even go around asking the older kids if they see any "stars" after the photo shoot. None of them saw any .
It's time to save, save, save......it's going to a be a long time to save for such an expensive flash ! Once again, thanks all for the valuable input.
I think its about time some of us post some pics of birthday bash..
especially those that were shot without flash.
D3s / D3x / 18-55 f3.5 - 5.6 / 55-200 f3.5-5.6 / 50 f1.8